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Allied Families 










Recent discoveries relating to the Abeel family, of which little has hitherto 
been known, have brought to light certain facts which have an important bearing 
on the Revolutionary period of our country's history. The Genealogy of the 
Williamson and Abeel families, compiled by James A. Williamson, proves conclu- 
sively that the famous "Cornplanter" of the Seneca Tribe of the Six Nations was 
a direct descendant of Christopher Janse Abeel, the founder of this old Holland 
family in America. The faithful mother, who so carefully provided for her son's 
welfare, little dreamed of the inliuence that would be e.xerted by him and his de- 
scendants in the New World. 

Christopher Janse Abeel, the progenitor of this family in America, was born 
i'.i Amsterdam, Holland, in 1621. Both his father and mother fell victims to the 
great plague which scourged all Europe in 1633, when he was twelve years of 
age. Soon after his mother was taken ill, she sent for a trustworthy neighbor 
and friend, and placed in her keeping all the ready money she had with instruc- 
tions to keep it until the lad should become of age. He was placed in charge of 
the master of an orphanage, and grew to manhood well equipped for the duties 
of life, having been taught in the meantime the trade of a carpenter. On reach- 
ing his majority, the faithful friend, true to her trust, delivered to him the princi- 
pal with the accumulated interest, and with this little fortune he purchased a stock 
of hardware and started for America, settling in Beaverwick, now Albany, about 

1647. His name first appears on 
the records of the town in the 
conveyance of a piece of proper- 
ty, April 23, 1652. In 1665, as a 
master builder, he erected the 
First Reformed Dutch Church, 
which took the place of the crude 
log house in which the first set- 
tlers worshipped. Two years 
after this Abeel was elected 
deacon of the church, and a vote 
of thanks was tendered him 
for faithful service as treasurer 
of the poor fund. In 1665 he 
made a voyage to Holland to re- 
ceive a legacy from a deceased 
great imcle. Passport was made 
in the name of the Honorable 
Stoffel Jans Abeel. He was a magistrate of Albany and filled other important 
positions, and in ordinary documents, as was the custom, he omitted the surname, 
but to all important legal documents he attached the full name. He died in 1684. 


He married Nov. 22, 1660, Neiltje Jans Croom (or Kroom), a native of Holland. 
They had issue: Magdelena, married Gerardus Beekman; Marie, born 166O; 
n;arried Garret Duyckinck; Jolianiics born 1667; Elizabeth, born probably 
1670; married Evert Bancker. 

Johannes Abeel, eldest son of Christopher Janse (Croom) Abeel, was born in 
Albany, March 2^, 1667, died Jan. 28, 1711. He was a prosperous merchant, and 
was elected mayor of Albany, 1694-5. He removed to New Amsterdam and lived 
there for a time and on his return to Albany was elected a member of the .Assem- 
bly in 1701 ; and in 1709 was again elected mayor of Albany. He married April 
10, 1694, Catharine, daughter of David Schuyler, who, with his brother Pieterse, 
came from Amsterdam in 1650, and settled at Fort Orange. David Schuyler, the 
younger of the two, married Oct. 13, 1657, Callyntje, daughter of Abraham Isaac- 
sen Ver Planck, the owner of Paulus Hook, now Jersey City. Johannes Abeel, 
by his wife Catharine (Schuyler) Abeel, had issue: Cataline, bap. New York, 
Oct. 23, 1691 ; Neiltje, bap. Albany, .April 14, 1698; Christoffel, bap. Dec. 16, 1696; 
David, bap. April 29, 1705; Jannette, bap. at Albany, June 6, 1705. 

A copy of the inventory of his goods and personal estate includes a painted 
picture of himself; also one of his w^ife and daughter. 

Christoffel Abccl, son of Johannes and Catalina (Schuyler) Abeel (elder 
brother of David), was bap. at Albany, Dec. 16, 1696. He married Sept. 23, 1720, 
Margueritta Breese, and had issue: Johannes (John), bap. April 18, 1722; An- 
thony, bap. Jan. 27, 1724; .Anthony Breese, bap. April 11, 1725; David, bap. Aug. 
13. 1727 (settled at Bak-Oven, near Catskill, in Greene County, N. Y., where he 
died in Feb., 1813, in the eighty-seventh year of his age) ; Catharina, bap. June 
9> 1734; Jacobus, bap. Jan. 26, 1736; Maria, bap. April 27, 1740. 

Johannes, or John Abeel, eldest son of Christoffel and Margueritta Breese 
Abeel, was born in Albany, April 8, 1722, and is recorded as an "alleged lunatic" 
for the following reasons: 

He early developed a taste for hunting and finally became a fur trader among 
the Indians of the Six Nations, with whom he was on terms of intimate friend- 
ship, so much so that he became enamoured with an Indian princess, named 
Aliquipiso, of the Turtle Clan of Seneca Tribe, and married her. Their son, born 
about 1742, became the famous Corn Plant. 

The History of Montgomery County, N. Y., pages 218 and 233, contains the 
following additional facts relating to John Abeel : 

"John Abeel, an Indian trader, settled in the town (Minden), a short dis- 
tance from Fort Plain, in 1748. He secured several hundred acres of land of one 
of the grantees of the Blucker patent. In his previous intercourse with the In- 
dians, he had married the daughter of a Seneca chief, the ceremony being per- 
formed after the Indian fashion. A child of this mariage was the famous chief, 
Cornplanter (Corn Plant). 

"Abeel erected a stone dwelling upon a knoll directly above the flats. He 
married on Sept. 22, 1759, Mary Knouts, a member of one of the prominent Ger- 
man families, and at the beginning of the Revolution was living on his farm. 
During the invasion of Oct., 1780, he was taken prisoner by a band of Indians, 


and while immediately expecting death, Cornplanter addresed him as father, thus 
securing his safety. He was given the Hberty either to accompany the Indians 
under the protection of his son, or to return to his white family. Much credit is 
due him for choosing the latter, and after hostilities had ceased, Cornplanter 
visited him and was received with much hospitality." 

John Abeel, by his second wife, had several children, descendants of whom 
are still living in Montgomery County, N. Y. 




Corn Plant (usually, but improperly spelled Cornplanter) was one of the most 
unique characters in American history, and it appears somewhat strange that after 
a lapse of a century or more the true history of his parentage should now for the 
first time be brought to light, proving beyond a doubt that he was a grandson of 
one of Albany's most distinguished mayors. There may have been an effort on 
the part of those interested to cover up the facts at the time by permitting a 
inisspelling the name which has passed into history as O'Bail (easily mistaken 
for Abeel), but Corn Plant's own statement to the Governor of Pennsylvania in 
1836, in which he gives an account of his early life (omitting the name of his 
father), confirms the newly discovered evidence of his parentage. He says: 

"I feel it my duty to send a speech to the Governor of Pennsylvania at this 
time and inform him of the place where I was born, which was at Connewaugus, 
on the Genesee River. 

"When 1 was a child, I played with the butterfly, the grasshopper and the 
frogs, and as I grew up I began to pay some attention and play with the Indian 
boys in the neighborhood, and they took notice of my skin being a different 
color from theirs and spoke about it. I inquired of my mother the cause, and 
she told me that my father was a resident of Albany. I still eat my victuals out 
of a bark dish. I grew up to be a young man and married me a wife, and I had 
no kettle or gun. I then knew where my father lived, and went to see him, and 
found he was a white man and spoke the English language. He gave me victuals 
while at his house, but when I started home he gave me no provision to eat 
on the way. He gave me neither kettle nor gun. neither did he tell me that the 
United States were about to rebel against the Government of England. 

"I will now tell you, brothers who are in session of the Legislature of Penn- 
sylvania, that the Great Spirit has made known to me that I have been wicked 
and the cause thereof has been the Revolutionary war in America. The cause of 
Indians being led into sin at that time, was that many of them were in the 
practice of drinking and getting intoxicated. Great Britain requested us to join 
with them in the conflict against the Americans, and promised the Indians land 
and liquor. I myself was opposed to joining in the conflict, as I had nothing to 
do with the difficulty that existed between the two parties. I have now informed 
you how it happened that the Indians took part in the revolution, and will relate 


to you some circumstances that occurred after the war. General Putnam, who 
was then at Philadelphia, told me there was to be a council at Fort Stanwix, and 
the Indians requested me to attend on behalf of the Six Nations, which I did, 


and there met with these commissioners who had been appointed to hold the 
council. They told me that they would inform me of the cause of the revolution, 
which I requested them to do minutely. They then said that it originated on 
account of the heavy taxes that had been imposed upon them by the British Gov- 
ernment, which had been for fifty years increasing upon them ; that the Ameri- 
cans had grown weary thereof and refused to pay, which affronted the King. 
There had likewise a difficulty taken place about some tea which they wished me 
not to use, as it had been one of the causes that many people had lost their lives, 
and the British Government now being affronted, the war commenced and the 
cannons began to roar in our country. 

"General Putnam then told me at the Council at Fort Stanwix that by the 
late war the Americans had gained two objects: they had established themselves 
an independent nation and had obtained some land to live upon, the division line 
of which from Great Britain runs through the Lakes. I then spoke and said I 
wanted some land for the Indians to live on, and General Putnam said it should 
be granted, and I should have land in the State of New York for the Indians. He 
then encouraged me to use my endeavors to pacify the Indians generally, and as 
he considered it an arduous task, wished to know what pay I would require. I 
replied that I would use my endeavors to do as he requested with the Indians, 


and for pay therefor I would take land upon which I now live, which was pre- 
sented to me by Gov. Mifflin. I told General Putnam that I wished the Indians to 
have the privilege of hunting in the woods and making fires, which he likewise 
assented to. 

"The treaty that was made at the aforementioned council has been broken 
by some of the white people, which I now intend acquainting the Governor with. 
Some white people are not willing that the Indians should hunt any more, whilst 
others are satisfied therewith; and those white people who reside near our res- 
ervation, tell us that the woods are theirs, and that they have obtained them from 
the Government. The treaty has also been broken by the white people using their 
endeavors to destroy all the wolves, which was not spoken about in the council at 
Fort Stanwix by General Putnam, but has originated lately." 

Corn Plant further complains that "white people could get credit from the 
Indians and do not pay them honestly according to agreement ;" also that "there is 
a great quantity of whiskey brought near our reservation, and the Indians obtain it 
and become drunken." He complains further that he has been called upon to 
pay taxes, and says: "It is my desire that the Governor will exempt me from 
paying taxes for my land to white people, and also to cause the money I am now 
obliged to pay be refunded to me, as I am very poor." 

"The Government has told us that when difficulties arose between the In- 
dians and the white people they would attend to having them removed. We are 
now in a trying situation, and I wish the Governor to send a person authorized 
to attend thereto the fore part of next summer, about the time that the grass has 
grown big enough for pasture. 

"The Government requested me to pay attention to the Indians and take care 
of them. We are now arrived at a situation in which I believe the Indians can- 
not exist unless the Governor shall comply with my request, and send a person 
authorized to treat between us and the white people the approaching summer. 
I have now no more to speak." 

This singular production of Corn Plant was of course dictated to an inter- 
preter, who acted as amenuensis, but the sentiments are undoubtedly his own. 
It was dated in 1822, when the lands reserved for the Indians in the northwestern 
part of Pennsylvania became surrounded by the farms of the whites and some 
attempt was made to tax the property of the Seneca Chief, in consequence of 
which he wrote this epistle to the Governor. 

The letter is distinguished by its simplicity and good sense, and was no 
doubt dictated in the concise, nervous and elevated style of the Indian orator, 
which has lost much of its beauty and poetical character in the interpretation. 
His account of his parentage is simple and touching — his unprotected, yet happy 
home, wliere he played 'cintli the buttcrAy. the grasshopper (ind the frog is 
sketched with a scriptural felicity of style. There is something very pathetic in 
his description of his poverty when he grew up to be a young man, and married 
a wife, and had no kettle nor gun, while the brief account of his visit to his 
father is marked by a pathos of genuine feeling. It is to be hoped indeed that 
as the account states the father was non compos mentes. 


Corn Plant was one of the parties to the treaty at Fort Stanwix in 1784, 
when a large cession of territory was made by the Indians. At the treaty of 
Fort Harmer, five years afterwards he took the leading part in conveying an 
immense tract of country to the American Government, and became so unpopu- 
lar that his life was threatened by his incensed tribe. But this chief, and those 
who acted with him, were induced to make liberal concessions by motives of 
sound policy; for the Six Nations, having fought on the royal side during the 
War of the Revolution, and the British Government having recognized our 
independence, and signed a peace without stipulating for the protection of her 
misguided allies, they were wholly at our mercy. In an address sent to the 
President of the United States in 1790 by Corn Plant, Half Town and Big Tree, 
occurs the following: 

"Father: We will not conceal from you that tlic Great Spirit and not men 
has preserved Corn Plant from the hands of his own nation, for they ask contin- 
ually, 'Where is the land upon which our children and their children after them 
are to lie down? You told us that the line drawn from Pennsylvania to Lake 
Ontario would mark it forever on the East, and the line running from Beaver 
Creek to Pennsylvania would mark it on the West, and we see it is not so; for 
first comes one and then another and takes it away by order of that people which 
you tell us promised to secure it to us.' He is silent, for he has nothing to answer. 
When the sun goes down he opens his heart before the Great Spirit, and earlier 
than the sun appears again upon the hills he gives thanks for his protection dur- 
ing the night, for he feels that among men become desperate by the injuries they 
have received, it is God only that can protect him." 

In reply to this address. President Washington remarked : "The merits of 
Corn Plant and his friendship for the United States are well known to me, and 
shall not be forgotten ; and as a mark of the esteem of the United States, I have 
directed the Secretary of War to make him a present of $250, either in money or 
goods, as Corn Plant shall like best." 

In his efforts to preserve peace with his powerful neighbors, Corn Plant in- 
curred alternately the suspicion of both parties, the whites imputing him a secret 
agency in the depredations of lawless individuals of his nation, while the Senecas 
were sometimes jealous of his apparent fame with the whites, and regarded him 
as a pensionary of their oppressors. His course, however, was prudent and 
consistent, and his influence very great. 

He resided on the banks of the Alleghany river, a few miles below the junc- 
tion, upon a tract of fine land within the limits of Pennsylvania, and not far from 
the line between that State and New York. He owned thirteen hundred acres of 
land, of which six hundred were comprehended within the village occupied by 
his people. The Chief favored the Christian religion and welcomed those who 
came to teach it. 

Referring to his personality, an eminent writer says: "He was the rival of 
Red Jacket. Without the commanding genius of Red Jacket, he possessed a 
lai^e share of the common sense, which is more efficient in all the ordinary aflfars 
of life. They were both able men ; both acquired the confidence of their people. 


but the patriotism of Red Jacket was exhibited in an unyielding hatred of the 
whites, while Corn Plant adopted the opposite policy of conciliation towards his 
more powerful neighbors. The one was an orator of unblemished reputation, the 
other an orator of unrivalled eloquence. Both were shrewd, artful and expert 
negotiators, and they prevailed alternately over each other, as opportunities were 
offered to either for the exertion of his peculiar abilities. The one rose into 
power when the Senecas were embittered against the whites, and the other 
acquired consequence when it became desirable to cultivate friendly relations upon 
the frontier." 

On one occasion Red Jacket was boasting of what he had said at certain 
treaties, when Corn Plant quickly added, "Yes, but we told you what to say." 
Horatio Jones said of Corn Plant : "He was one of the best men to have on your 
side, and there you would be sure to find him if he thought yours the right side, 
but it was decidedly unlucky if he thought you were wrong." 

Corn Plant was the first as well as one of the most eloquent temperance lec- 
turers in the United States, and labored hard to save his people from this growing 
evil, for which his white neighbors were largely responsible. 

In his latter days he became superstitious, and his conscience reproached him 
for his friendshhip towards the whites, and in a moment of alarm, fancying that 
the Great Spirit had commanded him to destroy all evidence of his connection 
with the enemies of his race, he destroyed an elegant sword and other articles 
which he had received as presents. 

There can no longer be any doubt of his relationship to the Abeel family. 
His mother told him that his father's name was Abeel, or O'Bial. The latier name 
does not appear in the Albany records, and it is doubtful if such a person ever 
lived in that city. The name of Abeel is still preserved with the tribe on the 

The History of Montgomery County, page 233, says: 

"Cornplanter visited Fort Plain in his native dress about the year 1810, bring- 
ing with him several Indians of dignified rank. They were cordially welcomed 
by the chief's relatives, going first to the house of Joseph Wagner, father of 
Peter J. Wagner, who was grandson on the mother's side of John Abeel. The 
party also visited the house of Nicholas Dygert, whose wife was a sister of Mrs. 
Wagner, and was richly entertained, and then at the home of Jacob Abeel, living 
with his widowed mother on their old homestead. The Indians were treated 
with hospitality. The visit lasted several days, and the guests were the central at- 
traction of village society, for Cornplanter was a man of noble bearing, and was 
decorated with all the native display of costume appropriate to his rank. His 
father at that time had been dead more than a dozen years." 

Capt. David Abeel, son of Johannes and Catharine (Schuyler) Abeel (brother 
to Christofltel, the father of John, father of Corn Plant), was born at Albany, N. 
Y., April 27. 1705. died Oct. 20. 1777. At an early age, after his father's death, 
he was sent to New York and apprenticed to Mr. Schuyler in the dry goods bus- 
iness, and soon after reaching his majority he engaged in the flour and provision 
business, which he carried on successfully for many years. He held the position of 


Captain of the company of militia of foot of tlie city and county of New York, for 
many years until 1772. His commission was signed by Leonard Lispenard, 
Colonel. He married, Feb. 24, 1726, Mary Duyckink, born Oct. 4, 1702, daughter 
of Garret Duyckink, and Mary Abeel. They had David, Jr., born 1727 (married 
July 2, 1752, Neiltje Van Bergan Van Katckel), James, born May 12, 1733, Garret, 
born May 2, 1734, Annetti, bap. March i, 1753. 

COL. JAMES ABEEL, Patriot of the Revolution, second son of David 
and Mary (Duyckink) Abeel, was born in Albany, N. Y., May 12, 1733, died in 
New Brunswick, N. J., April 20, 1825. He enlisted early in the War of the Rev- 
olution and was Captain ist Battalion, New York City Militia, Col. John Lasher, 
Sept. 14, 177s, Major of same August-November, 1776. This was known as the 
First Independent Battalion. It was a favorite corps, composed of young men of 
respectability and wealth, and when on parade attracted great attention. Its com- 
panies bore separate names, and the uniforms of each had some distinguishing 
feature. Major Abeel's old company, which he commanded as Captain, was 
known as the "Rangers." As reorganized in the summer of 1776, the regiment 
had for its field officers. Col. John Lasher, Lieut. Col. Andrew Stockholm and 
Major James Abeel. 

When it was decided by Washington to fortify New York city, the First In- 
dependent Battalion constructed Bayard's Hill Redoubt on the west side of the 
Bowery, where Grand and Mulberry streets intersect. This regiment bore an 
important part in the battle of Long Island, which was fought August 27, 1776. 
It was attached to Gen. John Morin Scott's Brigade. Johnson's description of the 
battle states that: "As the report came in that the enemy intended to march at 
once upon Sullivan, Washington promptly sent him a reinforcement of six reg- 
iments, which included Miles' and Atlee's, from Sterling's brigade, Chester's and 
Silliman's from Wadsworth's, and probably Lasher's and Drake's from Scott's." 
The suffering of this regiment after the battlle are described in a letter from Gen. 
Scott, dated the 29th: "You may judge of our situation, subject to almost in- 
cessant rains, without baggage or tents, and almost without victuals or drink, 
and in some parts of the lines the men were standing up to their middles in 
water." This regiment took part in the subsequent events immediately following 
the retreat of the American Army from Long Island. 

Col. Abeel was subsequently attached to the staff of General Washington as 
Deputy Quartermaster General, New Jersey Continental Line, during the winter 
the army was encamped at Morristown, and had charge of the transportation 
between Philadelphia and West Point, residing at the time in his own house at 

He married, March 23, 1762, Gertrude Neilson, daughter of Dr. John Neil- 
son, who came from Belfast. Ireland, about 1740. with his brother James, who 
settled at New Brunswick as a shipping merchant and ship owner. Dr. Neil- 
son married Johannes, daughter of Andrew Coeyman, who came from Holland 
with his mother, the widow of Andreas Coeyman, and settled on the Hudson, on 
Coeyman's patent, afterwards removing to Raritan, or Raritan Landing. Dr. 
Neilson died in 1745, as the result of an accident. He had one son. John, a dis- 

tinguished officer of the Revolution, and a daughter Gertrude, who was married 
to Col. James Abeel. 

Col. James Abeel. by his wife Gertrude (Neilson) Abeel, had issue: David, 
born Jan. 1.3, 176,3. Johanna, Sept. 13, 1764 (married Leonard Blucker, and had 
three children, Gertrude, Feb. 23, 1786, James, Dec. 28, 1786, Maria, Sept. 26' 
1788) ; Maria, born Nov. 30, 1766, died June 16, 1767; John Neilson, born Dec. i, 

CAPT. DAVID ABEEL, Patriot of the Revolution, eldest son of Col. 
James and Gertrude (Neilson) Abeel, was born Jan. 13, 1763, died Oct. 31, 
1840. He early evinced a taste for a seafaring life, and volunteered to serve with 
Captain Barry (afterwards Commodore Barry, U. S. N.) on the ship "Governor 
General," which sailed under letters of marque during the Revolution. He made 
a voyage to St. Eustatia in 1780, which lasted several months. He next sailed as 
midshhipman on the frigate Alliance, which took Col, L-awrence, our American 
minister, to France, in the early part of 1781. After leaving France and cruising 
near the West Indies, the Alliance was attacked on the 28th of May, 1781, by 
the British sloops-of-war Atalanta and Tripassa. All three vessels were becalmed 
at the beginning of the action, the Alliance in consequence of her position being 
at a great disadvantage. Captain Barry was wounded early in the action and 
carried below, and the British made demand for the surrender of his ship, but a 
sudden breeze coming up at the moment the Alliance ran between the two British 
vessels, pouring a broadside from her starboard and larboard guns at the same 
time, disabling her antagonists and compelling their surrender. Midshipman 
Abeel was wounded in the thigh during the action by a musket ball. On reach- 
ing New York he received the public thanks of the Navy Board for his gallantry. 
His third cruise was on a letter-of-marque vessel bound for Holland. She was 
captured by the British and Abeel was sent a prisoner to the Jersey Prison Ship 
at Brooklyn. Through friends who had influence with the British Commander he 
was soon after released and sent to New York, where he was introduced to the 
British Admiral, who offerred him a midshipman's warrant on his own ship if 
he would join the British navy. Mr. Abeel replied that he was an American, 
and would hold in utter contempt any person who would thus turn recreant to 
the high claims of his country. The reply so provoked the Admiral that he would 
not allow him to be exchanged for one of equal rank, saying he was too great a 
rebel to let go, and Abeel was released on parole, which continued for about 
eighteen months, until the close of the war. for which time he received no com- 
pensation. He afterwards commanded a vessel in the merchant service. 

He married May 10. 1789, Jane Hassert (born March i, 1766, died March 2. 
i8j2V They had issue. Mary Ann. who married Douw Ditmars Williamson: 
Gertrude, born Dec. 24. 1702. David, born June 12, 1804. died Sept. 6, 1846; 
Johanna, born Aug. 18. 1807. died Oct.. 1826: James. John. Jacob, and James (2). 
died in infancy. 

Mary Ann Abeel, daughter of Capt. David and Jane (Hassert") Abeel, was 
n^arried Nov. i. 1810. to Douw Ditmars Williamson, son of Nicholas, son of 
Garret, son of Nicholas, son of Willem Willemsen, the ancestor. 


WiLLEM WiLLEMSEN, the Long Island ancestor, was born in Holland in 1637, 
came to New Amsterdam in the ship Concorde in 1657, and settled at Gravesend, 
L. I., where his name appears on the tax list of 1683, and on the census of Graves- 
end in 1698. He took the oath of allegiance to England in 1687. In the allotment 
of lands, 1670, he drew lot 32, and received another portion in 1700. In his will 
dated Dec. i, 1721, recorded in the surrogate's office, New York (p. 288, liber 9), 
and other contemporaneous documents he signs his name Willem Willemsen. 
In 171S he and his son Nicholas were subscribers to a fund for the support of 
Dominies Freeman and Antonides, who presided over the churches of Breuck- 
elen, Flatlands, Jamaica, Gravesend and New Utrecht. He married probably in 
1678, Marye Peterse Wyckoff, of Gravesend, born Oct. 17, 1653, daughter of 
Pieter Classy WyckofT, who emigrated to this country in 1636, and married 
Greitze, daughter of Hendrick Van Ness. They had issue, Nicholas, born 1680, 
Pieter, bap. April 16, 1682; Jacobus, Cornelis, Marretje, bap. April 12, 1685 (mar- 
ried Abm. Emans of Gravesend) ; Ann, bap. May 29, 1695 (married John 
Griggs, Jr., of Gravesend. 

Nicholas Williamson, eldest child of Willem and Mary Peterse (Wyckoff) 
Willemsen, was born at Gravesend, L. I., in 1680. He was an industrious and 
.successful farmer. He married ist in 1715, Lucrecy Voorheese, daughter of 
Steven Corte Voorheese of Gravesend, and his wife, Agatha Egge Janse, who 
( was of Flatlands, 1699, and of Gravesend, 1725, son of Steven 
Corte Voorheese, who emigrated in 1660 from Ruinen in Dreuthe, and from in 
front of the hamlet of Hees, which indicates the name. They had issue : Stephen, 
born July i, 1716; Eva. bap. July 13, 1718; Garret born March 15, 1728. He 
married 2d Ida Remsen, daughter of Jeremias Remsen, and had Nicholas, 
bap. May 13, 1733; Johannes, bap. May 13, 1733; Rem, born April 17, 1738; Cor- 
nells, bap. July 18, 1739; Antje, married Jacob Stillwill. The Williamsons of 
Flatbush,, Flatlands, Gravesend and New Utrecht are descendants of Nicholas 
by his second wife. 

Garret Williamson youngest child of Nicholas and Lucrecy (Voorhees) 
Williamson, was born at Gravesend, L. I., March 15. 1728, died at Neshanic. N. 
J., Jan. 17, 1790. He was an Elder in the Reformed Dutch Church at Neshanic. 
He married Aug. 18, 1761, Charity Bennett (born April 30. 1731, died Oct. 27, 
1783). They had issue: Nicholas, born Oct. 8. 1762. Cornelis. born March 28. 
1764, Jacobus. July 10. 1768, Anne, April 3. 1767, Lucrecy. Dec. 25. 1768. He 
married 2d Jan. 14. 1787. Alche Patterson : no issue. 

NICHOLAS WILLIAMSON. Patriot of the Revolution, son of Gerret 
and Charity (Bennett) Williamson, was born Oct. 8, 1762. died Aug. 18, 1856. 
He served in the Revolution as a Minute Man, and was stationed for a time at 
Perth Amboy, and was under fire from the British ships in Raritan Bay. He 
was a farmer and storekeper at Neshanic. N. J. He was an Elder in the Re- 
formed Dutch church of that place, and a man of some influence. He married 
June 10, 1788, Alche Ditmars (born Sept. 6. 1754. died April 15. 1846). daughter 
of Douwe Ditmars and Seytie Suydam, son of Douwe Jansen Ditmars and Cath- 
arine Lett, son of Jan Jansen Ditmars, the ancestor, who married Altje Douwe 


of Douwsen. Nicholas Williamson, by his wife, Alche Ditmars, had Douw 
Ditmars, born Jan. 4, 1789, and Garret, born March 7, 1798. 

Douw DiTMAKS Williamson son of Nicholas and Alche (.Ditmars) Wil- 
liamson, was born at Neshanick, N. J., Jan. 4, 1789. He served in the War of 
1812-15, and was stationed at Paulus Hook, now Jersey City. He was Comp- 
troller of New York, and served under several administrations. He was con- 
nected with the Western railroads, and some little time before his death (Aug. 
4. 1869), was President of the Farmers' Loan and Trust Co. In religion he 
followed in the footsteps of his ancestors. He was long a member and Elder of 
the Collegiate Reformed Dutch church of New York. He married Nov. i, 1810, 
Mary Ann Abeel, daughter of Capt. David Abeel and his wife, Jane Hassert, 
son of Col. James Abeel, son of David, son of Johannes, son of Christopher Janse 
Abeel, the ancestor. 

By this marriage he had issue: Nicholas, born Sept. 17, 1811; John Neilson 
Abeel, Feb. 13, 1814; James Abeel, April 12, 1816; Jane Hassert, June 23, 1818; 
David Abeel, Feb. 8, 1821; George Rogers, May 17, 1823; Leonard Bleeker, Feb. 
4, 1826; Douw Ditmars, born Nov. 15, 1830; Edwin, March 9, 1829. 

Nicholas Williamson, son of Douw Ditmars and Mary Ann (Abeel) Wil- 
liamson, was born in New Brunswick, N. J., Sept. 17, 1811. He was educated at 
the schools of his native town and came to New York about as clerk in 

a commercial house, and later was appointed teller in the Butchers' and Drovers' 
Bank, and when the Bank of the State of New York was organized he left his 
old place and accepted the position of assistant teller in the new bank and after- 
wards became teller. The business training acquired in these financial institutions 
laid the foundation for his subsequent success. In 1850 he organized the Nov- 
elty Rubber Company, originally of Connecticut and later of New Brunswick, one 
of the earliest companies to introduce certain hard rubber goods of the Good- 
year patents. The Rubber business was then in its infancy, and through the 
skillful management of Mr. Williamson and his associates, it became one of the 
largest concerns in this line in the United States, its annual output reaching sev- 
eral hundred thousand dollars. It was chiefly through Mr. Williamson's instru- 
mentality that the works were established at New Brunswick, and he thus con- 
tributed materially to the growth and prosperity of his native town. He was 
President of the company for many years, until his death. 

While a resident of New York, he became interested in the movement for 
the improvement of young men by providing additional means for reading and 
study, and assisted in the organization of the Mercantile Library of New York, 
of which he was for several years Secretary. He was an officer of the Reformed 
Church of New Brunswick. He died Nov. 15, 1862. He married ist Mary 
Rebecca Burlock, daughter of David Burlock, and Agnes Maria Codwise, born 
Nov. 3, 1819, on the Island of St. Croix, W. I. They had issue: Agnes M., born 
New York, June 14, 1839 ,died in infancy ; David Abeel, born New York, Sept. 
18, 1840, died Sept. 22, 1862; Marianna, born in New York, March 3, 1843, died 
June II, 1871; Nicholas, born New York March g, 1845; Agnes Burlock, born in 
Jersey City, Jan. 16, 1848, deceased; Douw Ditmars, born in Bound Brook, N. J., 


Jan. 21, 1851; George Norman, born in Bound Brook, N. J., March 12, 1S53; 
Martha Codwise, born in Bound Brook, May 3, 1855. Mr. Williamson's first 
wife died Jan. 22, 1857. He married 2d July 24, 1858, Augusta M. Storer (born 
March 10, 1833), daughter of William Storer and Delia Ann Moulthrop of West 
Hartford, Conn. No issue. 

GEORGE NORMAN WILLIAMSON, New York State Society Sons of 
THE Revolution, son of Nicholas and Mary Rebecca (Burlock) Williamson, was 
born at Bound Brook, N. J., March 12, 1853. After the death of his mother he 
was adopted by his uncle, Douw Ditmars Williamson. He went abroad with him 
and resided for some years at Edinborough, Scotland, where he was partly ed- 
ucated. On his return to this country he took a preparatory course and entered 
Columbia College, from which he was graduated in 1,873, and later at Columbia 
College Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1876 and practiced for a 
short time and then became associated with his uncle in the chemical business, 
succeeding him in 1897, after the latter's death. 

His inherited taste for military affairs led him in 1875 to join Company K, 
Seventh Regiment, N. G. S. N. Y., and after completing his term of service be- 
came a member of the Seventh Regiment Veteran Association. Of a quiet and 
reserved nature, characteristic of his Holland ancestors, Mr. Williamson ha-i 
taken no part in public affairs, giving his whole attention to business. 

He married Katrina Margaritha Heink, born April 3, 1851, daughter of 
Frederick Augustus Heink Regierungsrath, of Dresden, Saxony, and his wife, 
Augusta Rebecca Dursthof. They have issue: Elsa Rebecca, Hildegard, Mar- 
garitha Fanny, born in Dresden, Germany; George Norman, born Sept. 28, 1881, 
in Colorado; Katrina. 

Nicholas Williamson (2), M. D., eldest son of Nicholas (i) and Mary 
Rebecaa (Burlock) Williamson, was born in New York City, March 9, 1845. He 
was educated in New Brunswick and New York, and prepared for Rutgers' Col- 
lege. After the death of his father he became connected with the Novelty Rubber 
Company as Secretary. On the graduation of the class at Rutgers, of which he 
would have been a member had he remained, he was given an honorary degree by 
the faculty. 

Having a great desire to become a physician while still in active business, 
he studied medicine and received the degree of M. D. from Bellevue and the 
College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York. 

He entered into active practice at New Brunswick, N. J., where he is one of 
the leading physicians. He has also been active in political life, and has been 
county physician. Alderman, and is now (1899) in his third term as Mayor of 
New Brunswick. On April 9, 1874, he married Sarah, daughter of Prof. Geo. H. 
Cook of Rutgers College. She died, leaving no children. He married 2 1 on June 

2, 1881, Clara A., daughter of William and Maria Gurley of Troy. N. Y. 

Issue: Clara Christian? Ruth Alice, Charles Gurley, Mary Agnes. Burloch. 





GARRET .''lBEEL, Patriot of the Revolution, son of David and Mary 
(Duyckinck) Abeel, was born in New York City, May 2, 1734. He was educated 
both in Dutch and English, and on May i, 1751, was apprenticed to Gulean Ver- 
planck, a wholesale merchant. After serving his time he entered the employ of 
James Napier, Esq., Director of the British General Hospital at Albany. He left 
his position in 1757, and returned to New York, where he was induced to accept 
a better position in the same service in charge of the New York stores for the 
supply of other hospitals. He refused in Dec, 1770, to go to the Army, then at 
Boston, and was dismissed from the British hospital service, receiving from Gen. 
Gage a certificate for past faithful service. In 1765 he joined his brother-in-law, 
Evart Byranck, Jr., in the iron business, continuing until Aug. 24, 1774, when 
his partner withdrew and he continued the business alone till 1776, when, owing 
to the occupation of New York by the British, he was obliged to leave with his 
family, and located at Little Falls, N. J. 

4 AM 

On Feb. 14, 1755. he was appointed by James De Lancey, Esq , Ili5 Majes- 
ty's Lieutenant Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Province 
of New York, and the territories depending thereon in America — Itnsigij of the 
company of militia foot of the city and county of New York, whereof David 
Abeel was Captain, and on April 15, 1760, he was appointed Lieutenant of the 
same company. In 1772 he was appointed Captain in place of his father, who 



resigned on account of advanced age. When troubles began wih the mother 
country, he immediately resigned his commission and offered his services to 
his native State, and Nov. 3, 1775, he was appointed Major of First Regiment, 
New York City Militia, Col. John Jay commanding. He was a member of the 
New York General Committee, Aug. 28, 1775; Chairman, 1776; Member of New 
York Committee of Safety, 1776; Member of New York Provincial Congress, 
1776-7. In a letter to his wife under date of June 19, 1776, he says : "The pub- 
lic have this day forced me into Congress, where I am to sit the second Tuesday 
of next month." 

Under date of July 3, 1776, he writes: "The night before last, just after dark, 
there was an alarm that the fleet was under way and coming up ; the drums beat 
to Arms. I sat up till I found that the Tide was spent, and wind would not per- 
mit them to come up; then I went to bed. About 11 o'clock I was ax^akened by 
Col. Remsen, who came with an order to have our Regiment out by 4 o'clock in 
the morning. When I got up was hurried to go round to the Captain's to warn 
them ; before long the alarm guns were fired, and the fleet appeared in the Nar- 
rows; the drums beat to arms, and every one was ordered to his post. Mine 
was at the New Brick Meeting House, where our regiment parades. There I 
stayed till it was found that they were come to anchor under Staten Island. 
Capt. Randall has just informed me that they had only landed on Staten Island 
and drove the few Riflemen we had there to Elizabethtown point; shall be a 
little easier, as two thousand men arc going over to prevent their marchmg into 
the country. If they had landed here they must have met with a warm reception, 
as I judge we had Monday by 12 o'clock, 15,000 Men in the City and its neigh- 
borhood. To-morrow 7,000 Troops are expected from New England." 

Col. Jay's regiment was soon after disbanded and the men joined other reg- 
iments, and Major Abeel was called to attend to his civil duties. On July 16 he 
writes from White Plains : 

"I shall try next week to get permission to come and see you, as the con- 
sideration of forming a new government is postponed to the first of next month 
on account of the multiplicity of other necessary business which has come before 
the house since they have been here. We have only five New York members 
here at present, which is the exact number required to represent the city and 
county in Congress ; hope some more will arrive in a few days." 

The Convention of the Representatives of the State of New York assembled 
at Fishkill, Sept. 7, 1776, enacted the following: 

Resolved, That a Committee of Safety and Correspondence for that part of 
the State which lies below the high Lands be immediately formed. That Col. 
Remsen, Major Abeel and Major Peter P. Van Zant be that Committee. 

Resolved unanimously. That the Committee of Safety and Correspondence 
at New York be appointed and authorized to cause to be taken from the Doors 
of the Houses in the City of New York, all the Brass Knockers, an 1 they cause 
the same to be sent to some careful Person at New Ark in New Jersey with all 
possible Dispatch— that the said Committee keep as accurate aa Account 
as possible of the Weight and Value of them and of the Houses whence taken. 


in order that satisfaction may be hereafter made to the respective Owrero ' 

Major Abeel served his country in various positions throughout the war. He 
was an active member of the Middle Dutch Church, in which he served as 
Deacon, 1764 and 177a, and an Elder in 1784. At the request of the corporation 
he wrote an account of the estate, revenue and income of the Dutch Reformed 
Protestant Church in the City of New York for different years, viz. : 1770, 1776, 
1784 and 1786, showing the assels and liabilities, from waich ic appears that the 
Manor of Fordham was sold in 1761, for £11, 533. 17s., pd. When the North 
Church was being built be placed under a pillar near the pulpit a plate of pewter 
on which was inscribed the names of the Elders and Deacons, who comprised the 
Building Committee, the names of the carpenters, masons, etc., and also the fact 
that "The first stone was laid, July ye 2d, 1767, by Mr. Jacobus Rosevelt, Senr. 
Elder, &c." This plate was found when the church was torn down in 1875, and 
is still in possession of one of the members of the Consistory. 

Major Abeel married Nov. ig, 1760, Mary Byvanck, daughter of Evert By- 
vanck and Mary Cannon. 

Evert Byvanck was born June 15, 1705; resided at his country seat on the 
East River near the foot of Delancy Street, which he was obliged to leave as soon 
as il was ascertained that the city would fall into the possession of British. He 
gives an interesting narrative of his efforts to get to horseneck, to which place 
he started on Aug. 31st, four days after the battle of Long Island. After relating 
some unimportant matters he says : "On Thursday, the 12th of September, I 
took my Chais, Horse and Negro Sam to drive, and went down to Corlears' 
Hook to my country seat. * * * * There being heavy firing of cannon from 
the two Batteries on Long Island [then in possession of the British] and two of 
ours on Corlears' Hook, on both sides of the house, was advised not to proceed 
farther, but being so near my house, about three-quarters of a mile off, I went 
out of my Chais and ventured to walk through a Lane which led me to the back 
part of my place, ordering my man to follow me with Horse and Ch.iis. A 
heavy cannonade still kept on ; as we were going there several cannon balls ilew 
past us, and two balls struck a post and a rail of the Lane fence we passed 
through breast-high just before us; however, we got safe to the back part of 
my Land. * * * * That afternoon the Gentleman I took down with me in 
my Chais, came to me and importuned me to make all the haste I possibly could 
to get away out of imminent danger, as it was not in the least doubted but the 
King's Troops were preparing for landing, and by all likelihood would land next 
day or Sunday, at farthest, and I would or could not then escape being killed, 
wounded or taken prisoner, on which I took his advice, and after the firing of 
the Enemies' Cannon ceased, which was about six o'clock on Friday evening, 13 
Sept.. I ordered my man Sam to put the horse in the Chais, and I proceeded that 
evening as far as the hill above Harlem to the place when: Mr. Lawe Kortright 
had retired to, being a house belonging to Mr. Eagans of St. Croix, where I 
was kindly received, who told me he had removed his family to Hackensack 
that day, and intended in one or two days to follow them; his house and out- 
houses were filled with officers, attendants and their horses. About ten o'clock 


we were all preparing to go to bed, when a General who was there received 
orders to be with his several companies of Soldiers at one o'clock that night op- 
posite Turtle Bay and Kip's Bay, and to lay on their arms to obstruct the landing 
of the King's troops then hourly expected." 

Under date of Jan. 28, 1777,, he writes : "It is reported that our Army of 
12,000 New England Forces will endeavor to retake New York, and plunder it 
very much, as they judge no man that is true to this country has any business 
there more than those that are Tories, against whom they are much exasperated. 
Just this moment we received news that Gen. Washington was beating all the 
King's Troops back to New York, and hope in a short time to hear of their pack- 
ing off and leaving us in quiet possession of our Estates." 

On Jan. 20, 1778, in a letter to his son, John, and his son-in-law. Garret 
Abeel, after describing the privations he had endured and the loss of his horse, 
stolen from the stable, he says : "I shall with all humility wait till the spring 
to see you and look out for deliverance from our cruel enemies ; I hope and 
Trust the Lord will work a deliverance in good time; I look nor wish for a 
patched up peace as my son John makes mention of in his letters to me; if the 
weather be good in April, if the troubles be not over sooner, I intend to come 
a foot to pay you a visit ; horse I have none nor know where to buy one." 

He arrived at the house of his son-in-law, Garret Abeel, at Little Falls, N. 
J., where he died Monday, May i, 1781, and was buried near there. His remains 
were subsequently removed to the family vault in the Middle Dutch Church, 
corner of Nassau and Liberty Streets. 

Major Garret Abeel, by his wife Mary (Byvanck) Abeel, had eleven children, 
only two of whom are married, viz : Jane, who was married to Gasherie 
Brasher, son of Col. Abraham Brasher, who had served with distinction during 
the Revolutionary war, and was also a member of the Provincial Congress; and 
Garret Byvanck. 

Garret Byvance Abeel, son of Major Garret Abeel, was born March 5, 1768. 
He continued the iron and hardware business of his father at the corner of 
James Slip and Cherry Street, until 1802, when he erected the building on 
Water Street, adjoining the one on South Street, since occupied by the Abeels 
and their successors. He died Dec. 21, 1829. He married Catharine Marschalk, 
daughter of Joseph Marschalk and Mary Schermerhorn. His wife died July 
22, 1832. They had twelve children : Mary, married Edward Dunscomb ; Cath- 
arine Schermerhorn, married Adrian H. Muller; Elizabeth, married Albert W. 
Wright ; Joanna, who remained single, died June 25, 1882, in the sixty-sixth year 
of her age; Theodore, born Aug. 11, 1810, graduated at Rutger's College, July 
IS, 1829, died Dec. 27, 1829; John Howard. 

John Howard Abeel, son of Garret Byvanck and Catharine (Marschalk) 
Abeel, was born June 27, 1815, at No. 19 Park Place, New York City. He was 
prepared for college at Borland and Forrest Academy, but after the death of his 
father in 1829 he decided on a mercantile career. He entered the silk house of 
Downer & Co., in Hanover Square, but after a little over a year's experience 
he was induced to enter the employ of the old iron firm then conducted by 


Alfred and Edward Abeel. Edward died Jan. i8. 1832. Alfred took his brother 
George into partnership, who relinquished his law pratice, having graduated at 



Columbia College in 1822. In 1826 he was authorized to practice as attorney-at-law. 
by Hon. John T. Irving, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the City of 
New York. The same year he was appointed attorney in the Supreme Court, 
and in 1827 made solicitor by the Court of Chancery. Alfred died Dec. 14, 1835, 
and on Jan. i, 1836, George took his brother John into partnership, and retired 
May I, 1840, after which he spent most of his time in travel, both at home and 
abroad. He died Oct. 26. 1884, in the eighty-fourth year of his age. John 
Howard conducted the business alone for a few years, and as his sons became 
of age gave them an interest. He retired Jan. i, 1870, leaving the business to his 
four sons. He died April 19, 1896. 

He married Jan. 18, 1838, Catharine Emeline, daughter of Dr. John C. 
Strobel, an eminent physician of New York, who died of yellow fever, Oct. 15, 
1822, during the great epidemic of that year. Dr. Strobel's wife was the daugh- 
ter of Francis Marschalk and Sarah Butler; she died Aug. 14. 1818. They had 
eight children : George, born Oct. 16, 1839 ; John Howard, Jr. ; Catharine, mar- 
ried Charles J. Canda, Assistant U. S. Treasurer, New York ; Louisa, married Dr. 
Samuel Kuypers Lyon, a prominent physician ; Alfred, born Oct. 14, 1844 
(married Nov. 21, 1867, Rachel C, daughter of Ascher C. Havens; died May 8, 
1871, leaving one son, Alfred.) ; Frederick H., born July 31, 1848, married Nov. 
30, 1880, Helen Douglass ; died Oct.. 7, 1887, leaving no issue. 

GEORGE ABEEL. eldest child of John Howard and Catharine Emeline 


(Strobel) Abeel, was born at No. go Prince Street, Oct. i6, 1839. Receiving his 
education at the vvell-knovvii sciiool of Clark & Fanning, lie acquired the requisite 


knowledge and training to fit him for the responsible position to which he was 
soon to be called as the head of the oldest mercantile firm in New York City, 
After leaving school, he entered at once his father's employ, and after mastering 
all the details and technicalities of the business, became a partner with his 
father, and later his successor. Like his predecessors, he proved himself equal to 
every ernergency, and the firm he represents has never yet failed to meet all 
its obligations and maintain the high credit for which it has always been noted. 
The old-fashioned ideas of honesty and business probity on which the house was 
founded are still kept up, and the ancestral pride is shown in the careful preserva- 
tion of books and papers of one hundred and fifty years ago, as well as the mil- 
itary commissions that tell the story of the honorable service rendered by their 
worthy sires during the days that tried men's souls. 

Public honors have had no attraction for Mr. Abeel, and, except to fulfill his 
obligations as a citizen, he has taken no part in public aflfairs of any kind, know- 
ing that a man cannot give attention to one without neglecting the other. He 
is a trustee of the East River Savings Bank, a member of the St. Nicholas So- 

ciety, the Suburban Riding and Driving Club, Harlem Club, Historical Society, 
Museum Natural History, Zoological Society, Harlem Board of Commerce. 

Mr. Abeel married Julia E. Guenther, daughter of Rev. Francis H. Guenther, 


a well-known divine of Buffalo, a descendant of an old and prominent Saxon 
family. Their children are George H., born Oct. 21, 1862; Francis H., born 
Jan. 5, 1864 ; Henry Frascr. 

HENRY ERASER ABEEL, youngest son of George and Julia E. (Guen- 
ther) Abeel, was born in New York City, Sept. 28, 1870. He was educated at the 
public school, and entered the employ of his father's firm, beginning at the lowest 
round of the ladder, and subject to the course of business training that would 
be required of any stranger. He reached his present position as a member of the 
firm, to which he was admitted Jan. i, 1893. by his own efforts, and was well 
fitted to assume the responsibilities and obligations which such a position entails. 
Recognizing his duty as a citizen to maintain at all times the honor of his 
country, he joined the famous Seventh Regiment in 1890, and served the usual 
term as a member of Company B. His willingness to aid his fellow men is 
shown in his connection with the Masonic Fraternity as a member of Alma 


Lodge No. 728 of New York. He married Jesslyn Irene Forsythe, daughter of 
James Forsythe and Anna Moore. They have one child. Hazel Forsythe. 


DAVID ABEEL, Patriot of the Revolution, eldest son of Capt. David 
and Mary (Duyckinck) Abeel, was born in Albany, 1727. He married July* 2, 
1752, Neiltje, daughter of Garret Van Bergen and Annetje Meyer. He settled in 
Catskill as early as 1754. In 1771 he obtained a patent for one thousand acres of 
land "on the west side of and adjoining the brook called the Caterskill, at a 
place called the Bak-Oven." This estate was within the bounds of the Catskill 
Patent, and was formerly owned by Abeel's father-in-law. 

They had issue : 

Annatie, bom in Albany, March, 1753; died in infancy. 

Anthony, born in Catskill, Oct. 9, 1754 ; died Feb. 25, 1822 ; married Oct. 6, 
1797, Catharine Moon. 

Garret, born in Catskill. March 27, 1757; died Oct. 23, 1829; married Eliza- 
beth Cantine. 

Annatje, born April 8, 1760; married Jacobus B. Hasbrouck. 

Catharine, born in Catskill, Sept. 28, 1765 ; died Aug. 24, 1829. 

During the War of the Revolution there were living at the Bak-Oven, David 
.A.beel, Neiltje, his wife, and their four children — Anthony, Gerrit, Catharine 
and Anna. The men of the household were zealous patriots, and between them 
and the few Tories in the neighborhood a bitter feud existed. One of these 
Tories, Jacobus Rowe, was especially malignant. He harbored the Indians when 
they came into the valley of the Catskill. and guided the Indians in their depre- 
dations throughout that neighborhood. 

On a Sunday evening in 1780, a party of Indians with Jacobus Rowe and 
another Tory, entered the house of David Abeel. The inmates, who had been 
attending prayer meeting, were then at supper and were taken entirely by sur- 
prise. They had no time to take down their guns, which lay upon wooden 
baskets fastened to the walls and to the great beams of the ceiling. These 
weapons, however, would have been of no service, as the slaves of Abeel had 
been notified of the coming attack, and during the absence of the family in the 
afternoon, had removed the priming of the guns and had stuffed ashes into their 
pans. David and his son Anthony were made prisoners ; Lon. a large and pow- 
erful slave of Abeel, assisting in binding his master. Owing to his extreme age 
he would doubtless have been released had he not inadvertently recognized hi? 
neighbor, Rowe, who was disguised as an Indian. 

Gerrit Abeel. Anthony's youngest brother, had been spending the day at the 
Old Catskill parsonage, and as he approached his home he heard voices which at 
once aroused his suspicions, and, calling to his assistance a neighbor, the two 
hid themselves in a thicket near the path which led to the house, and waited. 
As the party passed, lantern in hand, Gerrit was about to fire, but his neighbor, 
who was paralyzed with fear, warned him that he might shoot his own father. 


and the party was allowed to escape unmolested. Their journey was through a 
vast and unbroken wilderness, and both captors and prisoners nearly died from 
hunger. They lived on dogs, roots and herbs and such other food as they could 
pick up. After reaching Fort Niagara, Anthony Abeel was made to run the 
gauntlet, his father being excused on account of his age. Anthony was notified 
that the Indians would attempt to stop him, and he would have to fight his way. 
Soon after he started, a young Indian stepped into the path and faced him. 
Anthony dealt him a powerful blow under the ear, much to the amusement of 
the crowd, and before they could recover he reached the goal without receiving a 

In May, 1781, the Abeels were confined in the Prevot at Montreal with 
thieves, murderers, deserters and captive Americans. They suffered great hard- 
ship, and, in May of the following year, they determined to break their parole 
and endeavor to escape. On the evening of the loth of September, 1782, every- 
thing being in readiness, they went to their room to go to bed, but jumping out of 
the window with their packs they groped their way to the lower end of the 
island, seized a boat and began the descent of the St. Lawrence. After many 
mishaps and much suffering, the party reached the headquarters of Gen. Bailey, 
upon the lower Coos on the 29th of September. They were treated with great 
kindness, provided with clothes and shoes and an abundance of food, and, after 
resting, continued their journey home. David Abeel died Feb. 1813, in the 87th 
year of his age, and was buried upon a ridge between his house and the 

Gerrit Aeeel son of David and Neiltje (Van Bergen) Abeel, was born in 
Catskill, March 27, 1757. About 1785 he moved to Catskill Landing, and built for 
himself a stone house. He was for many years a judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas for Greene County. Though not a lawyer by profession, he was endowed 
with strong common sense and an innate love of justice which was administered 
impartially, and his rulings seldom appealed from. He died Oct. 23, 1829. He 
piarried Elizabeth Cantine. Their Children were : 

David Gerrit, born April i, 1783; Anthony, Eleanor, Charles Cantine, Betsy. 
Ann, Catharine, Mary, John, Moses. 

David Gerrit Abeel, eldest child of Gerrit and Elizabeth (Cantine) Abeel, 
was born April I, 1783; died April 29, 1868. He married April 28, 1804, Nellie 
Goetschius, daughter of Jacob and Catharine Schuneman. Their children were: 

Eliza Catharine, born Oct. 18, 1805: unmarried. 

Amelia Emeline, born Feb. 23, 1807 ; married May 8, 1839, Jeremiah Romeyn. 

Gerrit Nelson, born Oct. 18, 1809; married Dec. 6. 1836, Alida Wynkoop; 
died 1874. 

Eleanor, born Feb. i. 1812; married, ist, George Phillips; 2d. Frank Parsons. 

Jane, born Dec. 23, 181 5: died March 27, 1862; unmarried. 

Charles Cantine, born Aug. 5. 1817. 

John, born June 30, 1821. 

Christine C, born Sept. i, 1825; married Henry Seelye. 

Frances Mary, born Jan. 8, 1828; married June 25, 1850, Abram Winne. 


They had issue : Emily Winne Webster, Frank N. and Lida Winne Dakin. 

Charles Cantine Abeel, son of David Gerrit and Nellie Goetschius 
(Schuneman) Abeel, was born Aug. 5, 1817; died Aug. 18, 1890. He married 
Jennie Poland, daughter of Jacob Poland and Annie Gardner. They had issue: 
P. Romeyn. Charles C, Annie S., Emily E.. Nellie B. and David G.